Mask mandate at Orange County schools to expire this week

At the moment students have to wear masks while inside OCPS buildings and buses

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The current mask mandate at Orange County Public Schools will expire on Saturday. Superintendent of Orange County Public Schools Dr. Barbara Jenkins is expected to make an announcement regarding masks on Thursday.

“While I must say the numbers look extremely encouraging I want to review this week’s information before making a final determination,” Jenkins said.

At the moment students have to wear masks while inside OCPS buildings and buses.

Students who have a medical exemption from a doctor, nurse practitioner or physician assistant do not have to wear a mask.

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Employees and adults on any school campus also have to wear a mask.

On Tuesday, Orange County officials said the 14-day rolling percent positivity rate for COVID-19 was 3.56%.

Health officials said this is the 11th day in a row the 14-day rolling percent positivity rate was below 4%.

The topic of masks was not on the agenda for the school board meeting on Tuesday.

“Finally vaccines are on the horizon for our elementary and middle school kids and will be available for a matter of weeks, but until then, masks are what we have to protect our kids,” Dr. Karen Castor Dentel said.

“I do not trust a single one of you and I pulled both my sons from Orange County Public Schools,” a parent said at the meeting.

Last week, Brevard County school leaders said parents can opt out their children from wearing a mask at school.

Seminole County Public Schools will make masks optional for everyone in November, according to district officials.

Masks are optional for school districts Marion, Osceola and Flagler counties.